Making a Difference
MPs challenge UK Secretary of State on PA misuse of foreign aid, based on PMW documentation
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MPs challenge UK Secretary of State
on PA misuse of foreign aid,
based on PMW documentation
  
A week after PMW presented this report to European MPs, British MPs challenged the the Department for International Development with the findings from the report, which show that the PA has continued to pay salaries to convicted terrorists:
 
 
House of Commons

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Oral Answers to Questions

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The Secretary of State was asked—

Occupied Palestinian Territories

Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) (Con): Does the Secretary of State welcome Israeli President Rivlin’s call for an urgent international effort to rebuild Gaza, but on the understanding that the hostilities perpetrated by Hamas against Israel must cease? Does she also agree that the continued incitement to violence by Palestinians against Israel must end?

The Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening: Clearly, the only way people in Gaza, particularly children growing up there, are going to have a better future is if we have a two-state solution. That requires Israel, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and its transitional Government, to be prepared to do what it takes to get a long-term settlement. That also means not doing things that get in the way of peace talks getting going again. [...]

Palestinian Authority (UK Aid)

John Howell (Henley) (Con): What assessment she has made of the effectiveness of UK aid to the Palestinian Authority. [900063]

The Minister of State, Department for International Development (Mr Desmond Swayne): Our support has enabled the Palestinian Authority to carry out state-building reforms in public financial administration and security. The international community has recognised that the PA is now ready for statehood.

John Howell: I refer the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.

Is the Minister aware of reports that the Palestinian Authority continues to pay convicted terrorists, and will he investigate whether UK payments are being used for that purpose?

Mr Swayne: I assure my hon. Friend that no UK payments are made for that purpose. Our support to the Palestinian Authority is paid through a World Bank-controlled trust fund to named civil servants and then independently audited.

View the transcript of the entire hearing here:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/
cm150603/debtext/150603-0001.htm
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The following is a news article published about this parliamentary hearing on Jewish Political News and Updates:
 

Headline: UK Conservative MPs Question Foreign Aid Sent to Gaza

by Sol Rieger

During a hearing at the British Parliament where members of the governing body questioned leaders of the Department for International Development (DFID), three Conservative MP’s stood out in support of Israel.

The Conservative MP’s, John Howell, Andrew Percy and Michael Fabricant, questioned Secretary of State for International Development and Conservative MP Justine Greening.

Percy first asked Greening whether she welcomed “Israeli President Rivlin’s call for an urgent international effort to rebuild Gaza, but on the understanding that the hostilities perpetrated by Hamas against Israel must cease?”

He followed up with another question, asking the Secretary if she agrees “that the continued incitement to violence by Palestinians [documented by PMW] against Israel must end?”

The DFID governing department is responsible for foreign aid sent by the British government to some 28 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, it lists the ‘Occupied Palestinian Territories’ as one of the locations where it works directly.

The Conservative MP’s wanted to be assured that no part of the aid was going to other uses than helping out those living in poverty in the Palestinian territories.

When sending aid to the Gaza Strip “How can [the Secretary] ensure that materials such as concrete and scaffolding are not used to construct weapons that can be used against the state of Israel and its citizens?” asked Fabricant, Lichfield’s MP.

Greening responded that the Department has been “particularly concerned to play our role in managing that issue.” Adding,“that means we can check materials as they enter Gaza and check where they are stored, how they are used and how they are reused. So there absolutely are good controls in place to ensure the materials are used for rebuilding people’s homes and helping them rebuild their lives.”

Additionally MP Howell expressed concern about the Palestinian Authority awarding salaries to prisoners serving terror sentences [exposed by PMW in
this report], asking MP Desmond Swayne, a Minister at the DFID, if he’s “aware of reports that the Palestinian Authority continues to pay convicted terrorists, and will he investigate whether UK payments are being used for that purpose?”

[http://jpupdates.com/2015/06/04/uk-conservative-mps-question-foreign-aid-sent-to-gaza/]